In the spring semester of 1978, fifth-year Architecture student Leroy Courseault developed a tactile map of campus for the visually impaired. Courseault distinguished the buildings, roads, and terrain with different types of materials with different textures, such as various grades of sandpaper, wire, and rubber.
Dr. Stephen J. Rogers Jr. explores a textured campus map as Architecture student Leroy Courseault, who designed and constructed the map, looks on, 1978/0515
Courseault consulted on his project with Dr. Stephen J. Rogers Jr. of the General program of Liberal Studies, who was the only blind faculty member at the time. Rogers “found that the mental picture of the campus he had developed over the years turned out to be fairly accurate. ‘But with Leroy’s map, I learned some things I never knew before,’ he said. ‘It’s a marvelous success as a tactile instrument’” [UDIS 211/23].
Courseault also intended to add audio effects to the map to help orientate the visually impaired. He planned to link sounds such as the Basilica bells, ducks at the lakes, or street noise, which are unique to certain areas of campus.
The tactile map located in the Main Building. It is unclear when it was removed. The most recent reference to it is 1984 in the University Archives’ online finding aids.